Monthly Archives: December 2014

Motivational Monday #6

22 December 2014

healthy foodIt’s been over a month since my last Motivational Monday and I wouldn’t blame you if you assumed I’d fallen off the wagon and have been spending my days in front of the telly shovelling a share-pack of Tangy Cheese Doritos down my gullet with no actual intention of sharing. Surprisingly though, you would be wrong.

If you read my last Motivational Monday, you’ll know I was getting back into running in the mornings which was great – I was feeling energised and was losing weight steadily. But in the back of my mind I knew that all cardio and no weights wasn’t going to get me the body and general health I truly wanted. I kept putting it off until a friend of mine put me in touch with his personal trainer. I’d never had one before and although I was curious to try, I didn’t fancy squirming unattractively on the ground while a big buff man barked orders at me. But, as the saying goes, a shy baby gets no milk.

So, I’ve been doing three sessions a week with my personal trainer for the past two weeks and it’s been an experience to say the least. The sessions are intense and exhausting and half the time I feel like I’m going to vom, but as he says himself, if it was easy we wouldn’t be doing it. No two sessions are the same which keeps things interesting; I’ve been doing a mixture of running, sprinting, boxing, weight training, high intensity interval training, core exercises and everything in between. He’s also given me a diet plan, educated me on supplements and generally got me in the right mental head space.

Surprisingly the sessions aren’t particularly embarrassing. Do enough squats in someone’s face and you get pretty comfortable pretty quickly. It’s just been a relief having an expert tell me exactly what to do, how long for and when without having to think about it or getting stressed out about it. Before, I’d go to the gym and just mill around not really knowing what to do and end up doing yet another treadmill run.

I have spent most of the last fortnight in astronomical pain and aching in places I didn’t know existed. But otherwise I’m feeling good. I don’t want to weigh myself just yet but I can definitely feel my clothes getting looser and my posture feels better. And more importantly, I genuinely feel stronger. I even did my very first weighted sit-up yesterday – these small steps really are more important than what the scales say.

Diet wise, he recommends the ‘Bulletproof’ way of eating which is basically Paleo. It’s not for the faint hearted but luckily I have dabbled in Paleo in the past and generally live a low-carb life so the transition hasn’t been too bad. The photos above show some of the things I’ve been eating – lots of eggs, oily fish and vegetables.

Obviously personal trainers are expensive but if you can afford it I’d highly recommend giving it a go, especially if you need a little motivation or feel a bit overwhelmed at the gym. If you’re shy like I am, I promise you get over it before the end of the first session, and no, he’s not looking at your bum when you’re planking! (I sincerely hope not anyway).

Empties #4

18 December 2014

beauty emptiesI hate to start yet another blog post with yet another apology but my photos have been shocking thanks to the total absence of any daylight. I’ve got an empties post today which is about as festive as Gordon Ramsay’s mood on a bad day. Is anyone else feeling a bit fed up with all this Christmas stuff? I know I am.

Garnier Miracle Skin Cream, £12.99
(Review here) I love this and wear it pretty much solidly in place of foundation. Brilliant skincare option for the lazy girl.

Repurchase? Already have

Nivea Daily Essenitals Express Hydration Primer, £4.99
(Review here) Another great product for the lazy girl. Are you sensing a pattern? A moisturiser and primer in one, and super fast drying – I always have one of these in my stash for when I’m in a rush.

Repurchase? Already have

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99
You’re probably sick of hearing about this micellar water so I won’t go on about it too much. A good, reliable staple that should be in everyone’s skincare collection. Even if it’s just to clean up blusher explosions in your makeup bag. It’s a monster size for less than a fiver (and relentlessly on offer) so no need to be shy with it.

Repurchase? Already have

Clinique All About Eyes, £42 for 30ml
This was a free sample, which despite its tiny size, lasted an absolute age – a little goes a long way. It’s got a cooling gel formula and it’s everything you’d need in an eye cream – smooth, hydrating, quick drying, reduces fine lines, makes your concealer go on better. Not sure it reduces puffiness and circles as it claims to but it’s nice to use nonetheless. However I’m not loyal to one eye cream, and I’m not keen on the finger-pot action so probably not a repurchase.

Repurchase? No

Nivea Daily Essentials Double Effect Makeup Remover, £3.59
(Review here) I clearly enjoyed using this when I reviewed it. However, as time went on, I found that speed at which it separates became even quicker and I ended up using unequal amounts of liquid to oil, causing disaster and reduced effectiveness, and rather a greasy finish. The search for the perfect eye makeup remover continues.

Repurchase? No

Burt’s Bees Refreshing Lip Balm with Pink Grapefruit, £3.69
I don’t know how excited you can get about lip balms but this was nice enough. It’s not going to set the world on fire but it is moisturising, smells delicious and doesn’t leave an overly glossy appearance. Perfect for chucking in your handbag or keeping by your desk. I rarely repurchase the same stick lip balm over and over, I prefer to try different ones each time so probably not a repurchase.

Repurchase? No

Sleek Eyebrow Stylist Dark, £5.99
(Review here) I found this colour to be a bit off for my eyebrows and not quite pigmented enough. However, since writing my review, I’ve found the Sleek Eyebrow stylist is actually quite nice to use on the front parts of the eyebrows, if like me, your eyebrows don’t start close enough to the middle of your forehead (this probably makes no sense). I’m still very undecided as you can probably tell.

Repurchase? Maybe

Review: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment

17 December 2014

glamglow supermud reviewglamglow supermud reviewHere ye, here ye. Today’s review is of the fairly overexposed Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment – which I’d relentlessly been hearing about and agonising over the decision to buy it. But as Aristotle himself said, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. I snapped up the 30ml version as part of a gift set at Marks & Spencer a few months ago which came with the Youthmud (I can’t remember exactly how much it cost but there was an offer on, making the set cheaper than buying the Supermud on its own – so keep your eyes peeled at M&S – they have surprisingly good beauty offers on now and again.

I’ll cut to the chase as all of you are probably aware of the ins and outs of the Glamglow mask. I’ve used this a couple of times and have enjoyed it each time. You can see from the photos my forehead and nose are a little less shiny and the pores on my nose look a bit smoother. It does leave my skin clean, soft, smooth and ready for makeup application, albeit a little on the dry side. However, I’m going to go against the masses and say that, for me, Glamglow isn’t necessarily worth the price tag. BUT I will point out that I have a pretty anal skincare routine and quite honestly, there isn’t a lot that will make my skin any better – it’s at its best ever right now. Nevertheless, I’ll keep using this before big nights out to get my skin as soft and smooth as possible.glamglow supermud reviewglamglow supermud reviewglamglow supermud reviewUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll know that most people rave about this mask and they’re probably justified. All I’d say is that if you’ve already got great skin, this isn’t necessarily going to stand out from the crowd as much as you were expecting. In all honesty, the Una Brennan Super Facialist Pore Purifying Clay Mask (review here) will do a very similar job at a fraction of the price (and without having to stick any curious fingers into any pots).

Apologies for my close-up gormless resting-face.

Please let me know how you got on with this mask – anyone else a bit on the fence?

The 30ml version is available a little cheaper at £34.99 from Look Fantastic here.

Review: Laura Mercier Angled Eye Liner Brush

7 December 2014

laura mercier angled eye liner brush reviewlaura mercier angled eye liner brush reviewlaura mercier angled eye liner brush review
If you read my eyeliner post a few months ago, you’ll know I swear by this winning duo. However, my liner life of late has been turned upside down with this purchase – the Laura Mercier Angled Eye Liner Brush. Take a look. You might be thinking ‘Er…I think it’s broken, you blind old bat’ but its bent shape makes it unlike anything else I’ve ever used.

Getting a thin line close to my lash line has always been impossible. You know that eyeliner meme with the eyes not matching? That is literally my life. Doing my left eye is always a traumatic experience and I usually have to set aside 10 minutes of my makeup routine if I dare decide to wear winged liner.

I’d heard that using a bent eyeliner brush makes the winged liner process a bit less time-greedy and allows you to get a better view of what’s going on. Needless to say I was keen to get my hands on one. A few brands do a similar brush (Smashbox, Elf and Coastal Scents to name a few) but for me, Laura Mercier is the easiest brand to get hold of in real life…but also the most expensive. It did take me several attempts to get hold of this brush as most places were sold out but I finally tracked it down in Space NK in Battersea – it was the last one in the store so there seems to be some kind of national shortage. Or you could just cut to the chase and get it online – you won’t be disappointed.

The Laura Mercier Angled Eye Liner Brush is made from synthetic fibres so it’s perfect for gel liners. I’m still using the Maybelline one (review here) every day and they are a match made in winged liner heaven. The handle is quite short too which you might feel will give you better control. I love that the tip is super fine and if you apply more pressure, you get a thicker line – ideal for creating the perfect outer flick. The bend in the brush somehow just works – I can’t explain it but it makes it impossible to mess up your eye look.

I’m LOVING life with this brush and get my eyeliner perfect in less than a minute. If you’ve ever struggled with eyeliner, I URGE you to pick this up. It will truly make the process a little less frustrating.

The Laura Mercier Angled Eye Liner Brush is available at Space NK, Selfridges and other Laura Mercier stockists and costs £16.

FOTD: Everyday Drugstore Look

5 December 2014

everyday fotdWhen I say minimal, don’t be fooled – it still takes me three and a half years to do this look. No matter how early I start my makeup, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll still be frantically hurling myself out the door in a cloud of panic and confusion. However, if unlike me, you have your shit together, you can do this look in 15 minutes so don’t let my bad example put you off.

I’ve been opting for less makeup recently, gradually weaning myself off heavy eyeliner, and most days I go foundation-free.

Apologies for the horrendous lighting – it’s dark when I get up, it’s dark when I get home and the spotlights make for extremely shadowy photos. Flash is all I had left.

Disclaimer: This is almost all drugstore products – the lipstick is MAC but I’m sure you’ll get over it.

COMPLEXION
Revlon PhotoReady Perfecting Primer
Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer Nude
Soap & Glory Kick Ass Instant Retouch Pressed Powder
Sleek Face Form Medium
Accessorize Merged Baked Blush Scandal (review here)

EYES
Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner Black (review here)
Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara Black
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Liner Black

EYEBROWS
Topshop Brows Pencil Spike

LIPS
MAC Lustre Lipstick Syrup

5 Underrated Drugstore Beauty Picks You Might Not Have Tried

2 December 2014

top5When it comes to drugstore makeup, it’s all well and good hearing about how you need the Collection concealer or the Revlon matte balms. But if you’re looking for something a little more tantalising and unique to whet your high street appetite, then look no further…

Nivea Daily Essentials Hydration Primer, £4.99

If you’re anything like me, most mornings you’re low on time and even lower on patience. This is where this pot of joy comes into play. It’s a moisturiser and primer in one and dries quicker than you can say “where the hell is my bloody Oyster card?!” Leaves skin smooth, soft, hydrated and ready for the daily trowelling-on of makeup. Plus it’s under a fiver but seems to be forever half price in Boots – so there is literally no excuse not to try it. You won’t be disappointed. Check out the review here.

Gosh Boombastic Mascara, £8.49

If you can ignore the ridiculous name, I urge you to try out this mascara. If you’re a fan of Max Factor False Lash Effect, you will love this. If you don’t like superior curl, sensational volume and luscious length then I advise you to look elsewhere. This gives serious results. Occasionally half price in Superdrug too so that’s the time to stock up like there’s no tomorrow. I’ve got a review with the all-important before and after pictures here.

Seventeen Trio Eyeshadow Metallic Toffee, £5.49

I have an addiction to golden, shimmery nudes and this has not disappointed. I’m not going to say that it’s the best eyeshadow in the world, but the shades are surprisingly buttery, smooth and pigmented. The three colours work harmoniously together and can create both day and night looks.

Maybelline Eye Studio Mono Eyeshadow Chocolate Chic £4.09

Every makeup collection needs a medium matte brown eyeshadow, and if you’re looking for a budget version this is it. I don’t know about anyone else but these Maybelline mono eyeshadows never seem to get talked about which makes me weep a little. I use Chocolate Chic on my eyelids, on the lower lash line, to fill in my eyebrows and even to contour my face. Its uses are endless. If you’re on the lookout for a matte brown shadow, I’ve got a round-up here to suit all budgets.

Carmex Moisture Plus Ultra Hydrating Lip Balm Pink, £4.49

Original Carmex didn’t excite me so I picked up this little chap. Last winter I literally did not take this off my damn mouth. I like that it’s in stick form so you don’t have to poke your grubby fingers into any tiny pots. It’s super moisturising, and it tingles, big thumbs up if that’s what you’re into. The best bit about it is the colour. Ladies with darker lips like mine will understand the struggle with tinted lip balms and the fact that they barely show up but this one does. Cheap, cheerful and just works. Take a look at it in action here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...